The first derby to take place outside of Spain has ended with a Sevilla victory. José Luis Mendilibar's boys faced Real Betis at the Akron Stadium in Guadalajara in a game where, as the coach had already said publicly, the priority was to carry on giving the players some minutes out on the pitch. After a first half where both teams mustered up dangerous chances without registering any shots on target, things started to change in the second forty-five. Although their opponents were on top, Sevilla improved after some changes and finished off the game in the opposition's half. En-Nesyri settled the tie in added time with a right-footed volley inside the area.
As many players had already made clear, despite the friendly status of the game, this match was going to be slightly more intense, and that's how it unravelled. Even though many first-team players were missing due to managing the workload on the tour, Sevilla had a clear idea of what they wanted to do, keeping possession of the ball and looking for space out on the wings. From there came the first opportunity. Rafa Mir sprinted past his marker and fired a shot into the side netting from a tight angle after a ball was sent over the top from Óliver. Betis were quick to reply with their chance. Luiz Henrique escaped down the right flank and sent a ball across the goal for Borja Iglesias, with the goal gaping, Iglesias sent his shot flying over the crossbar.
More intensity than action in the first half, for both teams
After warnings from both sides, the game seemed to even up a little and become more physical. Four yellow cards were brandished, three of which were for Sevilla players. Despite this, it was Sevilla who carried on applying the pressure in the closing stages, linking play in the opposition's half and the defence staying firm when Betis looked to be on the attack. It was difficult, however, to edge closer to the opposition’s box, as the first half ended without a single shot on target for either team. The second half started with both managers adopting different approaches to their game plan. Pellegrini made some changes but Mendilibar did not. A shot from Ruibal that went wide and a header that Tecatito failed to get on the end of, were the first warning signs.
Sevilla were on top after some substitutions and put themselves in front, deservedly
Óliver tried his luck with Rui Silva at the hour mark, but the first noteworthy intervention came from Bono in a one-on-one with Juanmi. Once again, the Moroccan earned the praise of the Mexican crowd, parrying Willian José's shot from distance. En-Nesyri, Gudelj and Pedrosa added some fresh legs whilst Acuña and Ocampos would do the same later on. Pedrosa was immediately involved after a pass was threaded through by Delaney. Juanlu, once more coming in from the right wing, capitalised on a loose ball that Rui Silva was eventually able to block.
The final stages of the game clearly belonged to Sevilla and En-Nesyri almost made sure of that three minutes from the end but his shot didn’t find the back of the net. However, the illusive goal came in the first minute of added-on time coming from an Ocampos corner and then a Fernando assist. Fernando's cross came to En-Nesyri who fired a right-footed volley past Rui Silva. Undoubtedly, this victory will help the team to keep on building confidence and accumulating vital minutes before contending with the final stage of the tour in San Francisco where Atlético de Madrid lies in wait for their next encounter, early Sunday morning.